An acclaimed SF writer, editor and critic, Robert Silverberg's career has spanned the five decades which have seen some of SF's finest achievements, making him an ideal editor for this remarkable collection.
In "Old Music and the Slave Women," Ursula Le Guin returns to the setting of her classic novels The Left Hand of Darkness (LJ 9/15/87) and The Dispossessed (1976) for a scathing look at the impact of slavery, while Anne McCaffrey recounts another tale of the sentient ship Helva in "The Way of All Ghosts." Eleven sf authors, including Orson Scott Card, Gregory Benford, and Dan Simmons, return to their most popular worlds in this collection of novellas that serves as a sampler of the best of the genre. Highly recommended for series fans and newcomers alike and a good choice for most sf collections. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Silverberg (The Alien Years) now does for SF what his recent anthology Legends did for fantasy, collecting new tales by a number of the world's greatest SF writers set in the universes of their best-known series. Some entriesÄsuch as Ursula K. Le Guin's "Old Music and the Slave Women," from her Ekumen series; Dan Simmons's "Orphans of the Helix," a further tale of the Hyperion Cantos; and Greg Bear's "The Way of All Ghosts," set in his Thistledown universeÄstand more or less independent of what has preceded them. OthersÄsuch as Joe Haldeman's "A Separate War," set in the future of The Forever War, or Orson Scott Card's "Investment Counselor," which relates an episode in the early life of Ender WigginÄare essentially engaging footnotes, filling in worthwhile bits of information that never made it into previous novels. Still others, David Brin's "Temptation," for example, from his Uplift series, continue an author's on-going stories beyond the reach of the major works. Also included are a new tale by Nancy Kress, set in the world of the Sleepless; an interesting addition to Frederik Pohl's Tales of the Heechee; an early episode in Gregory Benford's Galactic Centers series; a new story by Silverberg himself, set in the alternate universe of Roma Eterna; and the first solo tale of the Ship Who Sang that Anne McCaffrey has written in years. All the stories are, at a minimum, very good, and several are outstanding. The Le Guin and Simmons contributions are particularly worthy of award consideration. This is an important anthology that should appeal to all serious readers of SF. (May)